Knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident can save lives and also make the claims process easier.
- Stop your car and find out if anyone is injured.
- Call the police or highway patrol. Tell them how many people were hurt and the types of injuries. The police will notify the nearest medical unit.
- Cover injured people with a blanket to keep them warm.
- Try to protect the accident scene. Take reasonable steps to protect your car from further damage, such as setting up flares, getting the car off the road and calling a tow truck.
- Ask the investigating officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report. You will probably need it when you submit your claim to your insurance company.
- If necessary, have the car towed to a repair shop. But remember, your insurance company probably will want to have an adjuster inspect it and appraise the damage before you order repair work done.
- Make notes. Keep a pad and pencil in your glove compartment. Write down:
- the names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- license plate numbers
- the make and model of each car
- driver’s license numbers
- insurance identifications
- the names and addresses of witnesses
- the names and badge numbers of police officers or other emergency personnel.
- If you run into an unattended vehicle or object, try to find the owner. If you can’t, leave a note containing your name, address and phone number. Record the details of the accident.
Source: Insurance Information Institute, “At the Scene of an Accident,” iii.org website. Accessed May 23, 2014.
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